NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- America's Got Talent 2011 winner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. is on a roll: his critically acclaimed first album is a hit, his first tour has been playing to sold-out houses, and he's even getting a street named after him in his hometown in West Virginia.
"I didn't think anything could top 2011, but it looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for me and my family," said Landau, who washed cars at a dealership before winning the NBC talent program in Sept. 2011. "I love to sing and I love my fans and I can't get enough of either one!"
Since his dramatic win in Sept. 2011, Landau has been on a whirlwind of tour dates and TV appearances. He sang on The Today Show, The View, The Talk, ESPN's State Farm Classic, Piers Morgan Tonight and The Wendy Williams Show. In addition, he entertained at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. As part of his prize, he played a series of shows at the Colosseum Theater at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
That's Life was released in November 2011 on Columbia/Syco Records and debuted at #34; it has spent almost 100 days on the Top 100 list and the top 5 on the Jazz list on Amazon.com. It is his first studio album and incorporates the warmth, melodies and big band sound of classic Rat Pack and Sinatra hits. That's Life was recorded at legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, the very same room that Frank Sinatra recorded several of his seminal songs. The album was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Steve Tyrell (Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Mary J. Blige).
Landau kicked off his That's Life tour in early December, selling-out 14 tour dates and earning a steady stream of performance accolades from industry professionals. "'Landau Mania' is like nothing we've ever experienced," said Lakin Cook, director of performing arts for The Clay Center in Charleston, W.V. "Of all the amazing artists who have graced our stage, none have sparked such great enthusiasm from fans or brought about such an overwhelming demand for tickets," she said.
After 3 sold-out shows there in December, Landau has been booked for three more performances at the Clay Center: January 21, February 24 and March 17. He has also added two more shows in his hometown Logan, West Virginia., on February 2 and February 3.
After a wildly successful show at another prominent W. Va. venue, The Harv at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack Resort, the venue's manager, Marisa Marino, remarked that Landau's "confidence, comfort with the crowd and the true heart and soul that he puts into every word he sings shows that no matter what life brings you, you can find a way to succeed if you follow your passion, believe in yourself and understand that no matter how far you go, where you started will always be a part of you."
In addition to his album and touring successes, Landau was recently named The West Virginian of the Year, an award usually given to politicians, humanitarians, CEOs and scholars. "Murphy's success on 'America's Got Talent' wasn't just a big win for a small-town guy. It was a proud moment for the entire state," wrote the Sunday Gazette-Mail newspaper in Charleston in bestowing the honor on Landau.
"Who would have thought a car washer could stand a chance and be included with such amazing people?" said Landau in response. "This is truly a remarkable honor and something I will cherish my entire life. I will continue to do all that I can to give back to my community and state. Without their support, I would not be where I am today." The city leaders of Logan have announced that they will be naming a street in his honor in the near future.
Landau spent his early childhood in Logan, where his father was a coal miner, and returned there after his marriage to a Michigan woman ended. He sang with local bands and raised money for a local charity, the Children's Home Society of West Virginia, while supporting himself as a "new car detailer." He would serenade his colleagues with Sinatra tunes as they worked and eventually, at the urging of his friends and his wife, Jennifer, he entered America's Got Talent.
Landau's emotional AGT triumph on September 14, 2011 was seen by more than 14 million viewers. And his thrilling renditions of Sinatra classics like "My Way," "Fly Me To The Moon" and "Under My Skin" won him a legion of supporters who were wowed by his poise-under-pressure and unassuming charm.
Now that the underdog has become top dog, he can't believe his good fortune. Landau noted, "This would be meaningless if it wasn't for my wife and children and the rest of my family. I wanted to win for them, not just for the money, but so that they could feel proud of me. I wake up in the morning and I can't believe how much my life has changed."
Additional ticket and tour information is available at www.landaumurphyjr.com
Additional tour dates:
1/21 Charleston, WV, Clay Center
2/2 Logan, WV, Convention Center
2/3 Logan, WV, Coalfield Jamboree
2/24 Charleston, WV, Clay Center
3/17 Charleston, WV, Clay Center
SOURCE Columbia/Syco Records